Egypt’s Dar El-Iftaa to sight crescent for Eid El-Fitr after sunset Saturday

Ahram Online , MENA , Saturday 30 Apr 2022

Dar El-Iftaa — the main authority responsible for issuing religious edicts in Egypt — said it will attempt on Saturday evening to spot the crescent that would herald the advent of the month of Shawwal and the beginning of Eid El-Fitr.

File Photo: A new crescent moon is seen over Maryland in September 2010, marking the start of Eid. AFP


Adviser to Egypt’s Mufti Ibrahim Negm stressed in a statement on Saturday that Dar El-Iftaa is the only authority in the country entitled to confirm any sighting of the crescent.

Negm noted that the results of the sighting, which is a religious ceremony that has been observed by all Muslim countries for centuries, will be announced 30 minutes after the Maghreb (Sunset) prayers, calling on people to get their information from official sources.

Eid El-Fitr is one of two major religious holidays in Islam — along with Eid El-Adha, which falls on the 10th day of Dhu El-Hijjah; the 12th month on the Islamic Hijri calendar.

As per recent astronomical calculations, the first day of the three-day Islamic feast is expected to fall on Monday, 2 May.

Egypt has already designated the week between Saturday 30 April and Thursday 5 May a paid holiday for public employees in celebration of Labour Day — which falls on 1 May — and Eid El-Fitr.

The first day of the three-day-long Eid is marked on the first of Shawwal — the 10th month on the Islamic Hijri calendar.

Months in the Islamic Hijri calendar — which is based on lunar calculations — vary between 29 and 30 days based on crescent sightings.

A sighting of the crescent with the naked eye after sunset in any place in the country on Saturday — the 29th day of Ramadan — would indicate the end of the holy month today and the start of Eid the day after.

However, in recent years, many Muslim-majority countries — including Egypt — have been depending on astronomical calculations to determine the start of Islamic lunar months, though crescent sightings continue to be observed as an honoured tradition.

In related news, Egypt announced on Saturday the allocation of 600 outdoor spaces nationwide to accommodate the millions of worshippers expected to perform Eid El-Fitr prayers in mosques and public squares.

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